His approach and simple principles to low cost housing are
Gandhian, which can be adopted by every builder. The
following are the mainstay of design and construction of
Planning of space– lesser walls, multiple uses of space,
short spans of roof, agglomeration of building services,
flexibility in growth.
Local building material– bricks, tiles, lime, surkhi,
timber, thatch, stone, palm, mud.
Bricks and jalis – play of light and shade, unidirectional
Lintels and arches.
Attention to details.
Baker’s works include, private
residences, some institutional
buildings, like ‘center for development
studies’, Kerala. He is very active in
the works of all the building centers
working in Kerala as well as in the
other parts of country. Rather it was
his initial effort to promote the low
cost housing in India, where housing is
a big problem.
His techniques not only use cheaper
materials but also eliminate
unnecessary details from the design.
Concrete is sparingly used. Mangalore
tiles are used for the roof which
makes it light and inexpensive.
Energy saving & Eco-Friendly
Decorative & Highly Economical
BAKER’S HOUSE, “THE HAMLET”
Baker’s own residence is
called ‘The Hamlet’. It has
been built in
Thiruvananthapuram, built on
a steeply sloping and rocky
hillside that hardly had any
vegetation when Baker
Baker has truly adopted his
motto to “make low-cost a
habit and a way of life” by
reusing everything, from brick
to glass bottles, as building
• Key features of his house are:
All the walls are made of mud bricks.
Timber salvaged from an old boat
One of the other signature
elements of his design
includes the use of circular
walls, which use far less
brick than rectangular walls.
In addition, when he does
use concrete for a roof, he
embeds chipped or broken
terra cotta roofing tiles into
These tiles, which normally
would be thrown away,
contribute to the strength
of the roof, allow less of the
expensive concrete to be
used, and reduce the
structural load of the
He used broken tiles for the
outer paved area of his
He made an extensive use of
timber in his house, like in the
living room of house, the
detailing in wood and mud
bricks are wonderful.
The living room, An integration
of new building and salvaged
timber from traditional
buildings that were being
Baker's innovative use of
discarded bottles, inset in the
walls giving a very good effect
of light and creating an illusion
of stained glass.